California Part I

I am still trying to play catch up a bit with this blog. So many exciting things regarding running have happened recently, you’re in for a treat! But let’s rewind back to June…

This summer I was lucky enough to go on a trip of a lifetime – California for 5 weeks. The highlight of my trip was visiting Yosemite and staying in Mammoth. Why such a highlight? (literally, very high up) – probably because there was running was involved…

In Mammoth Lakes, I was staying with my dear friend Joe. We were going hiking together everyday – to the summit of Mammoth mountain, Cloud’s Rest in Yosemite (16 mile hike) – the experiences were fantastic. The views were breath taking, so beautiful that it felt like I was walking in a painting. ‘Those colours, those shapes just can’t be real.’ I wasn’t dreaming though. The pain and exhaustion from the hikes was very real indeed. This kind of strenuous hiking would usually take it’s toll – but the fact that it was at altitude (9,000ft) made everything that bit harder.

Now, let’s talk running. I had never experienced physical activity at altitude before the trip. I was unprepared for the effect it would have on me.

My first day in Mammoth saw me itching to explore the spectacular views in the tangerine sunshine. I laced up my trainers, ready to run.

I died.

I completed 5k in my usual 10k time (it was very hilly). My whole body felt like lead and I was constantly short of breath. “Maybe back at home, this is what running for a non-runner feels like” I thought to myself. Not pleasant.

However, the next day I seemed to forget about this utterly exhausted and defeated state. I seemed to forget about the pain.
And altitude, what’s that?
The next day, forgetful little me spontaneously signed up for the Mammoth half marathon.

No, not next year…

The next day.

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